BOISE -- Two Treasure Valley teachers who have dedicated decades to music education will retire at the end of the school year. And they happen to be married.
Phil Hartman has been the director of bands at Centennial High School for 27 years. He realized his love for music could become a career back when he was in school.
Going into music education was really just kind of a opportunity to continue to play for me, said Phil.
His wife, Wendy Hartman, has been the orchestra director at Boise High School for 25 years. Her love for music runs in the family.
My father was a music teacher for voice, said Wendy. I kind of always knew I wanted to be a music teacher.
The two met while taking music classes at Boise State University.
I was playing drums in the band. I was playing bass drum and my husband was in the back of the trombone section, said Wendy.
I looked over at the percussion section and I thought, 'OK that girl's pretty darn cute,' said Phil.
I uttered the immortal line, he added. Nice bass drum playing.
Even though Wendy originally rolled her eyes, the pair started dating a few years later and have now been married for 32 years.
In that time, each has developed a unique teaching style. They both have their strengths when it comes to music, too.
He plays the trombone better than I do and I play the cello better than he does, said Wendy with a laugh. We both sing equally not so good.
And don't try to ask who's the better teacher.
Probably him, Wendy told us.
She is, said Phil.
Because they both work in the same field, the Hartmans say having each other has been the biggest career asset.
We could both come home each day and kind of commiserate and share problems and talk out problems, said Wendy.
It's a blessing, added Phil.
He says over the years, Wendy has taught him a lot.
To be uncompromising towards musical excellence, he said.
Wendy told us Phil has been her mentor.
To me, making music should be an enjoyable experience for everybody, she said.
It's clear the two teachers are very popular among their students. The Hartmans can't even count how many they've taught over the years. The number is in the thousands.
I think (Wendy Hartman) is really personal with the students and she knows a lot about what's going on in their lives...she's really relatable, said Boise High School senior Jacqueline Audas. Audas plays the violin in the orchestra.
(Phil Hartman) has inspired me to just continue and never give up with music, said Brittney Kearsley, who plays flute in the band.
The Hartmans told us the decision to take their final bow this year was an emotional one. But the couple still plans to be involved in the community post-retirement.
I'm absolutely not looking at any student right now because then I would get the same feeling I had when I told them the first time that I wouldn't be here, said Phil. He's relishing the final days with his students, as is Wendy.
After the school year ends, the Hartmans plan to travel and spend time with their children and grandchild. They're looking forward to spending whole days together, rather than meeting up late at night after a concert or rehearsal.
Phil and I like to say that our plan is to not have a plan for a while, said Wendy.
The Hartmans deserve it, but their many pupils aren't letting them retire without a few honors along the way.
Students at Boise High School are planning a gala to honor Wendy and her years of service.
All alumni who have taken part in her classes over the years are invited to attend and play an instrument at the concert.
You can learn more about the Wendy Hartman Gala and RSVP by clicking here.
Centennial High School will hold a similar concert Saturday at 7 p.m. to say goodbye to Phil Hartman. Students, alumni and parents are invited to attend.